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Nearly 800 people affected by possible data breach during College of the Desert malware attack last summer


College of the Desert has begun alerting the approximately 800 people who may be affected by a possible data breach during a malware attack last summer.

The malware attack occurred in early July. The attack took down the school's phone and online services for nearly the entire month.

College of the Desert initially reported the incident as a computer outage but school officials did confirm shortly after its initial announcement that it was working with the FBI to investigate the circumstances behind the outage.

The school's system was fully back up by July 29, that's when the school confirmed to News Channel 3 that the outage was related to a malware attack.

On Tuesday, nearly nine months after the attack, the school announced that the personal data of approximately 800 individuals may have been subject to unauthorized access.

Officials said there is no evidence of attempted or actual misuse of their information, however, COD is still proactively notifying anyone whose information was compromised and providing them with free credit monitoring services.

“College of the Desert takes very seriously the privacy of information in our care,” commented Superintendent/President Martha Garcia, Ed.D. “If you receive a letter stating you were impacted and have questions, please reach out using the contact information in the letter. We also encourage you to take advantage of the free credit monitoring service that is available.”

Individuals who were affected by this cyberattack will receive a formal notification letter with information on additional steps they can take to protect their personal data.

A hotline has been set up to answer questions for those who may be impacted: 800-405-6108.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available, officials said. Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

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Jesus Reyes


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